By  on February 16, 2010

PARIS — Hennes & Mauritz AB reported total sales rose 11 percent in January, while same-store sales were up 1 percent, the retailer’s second consecutive monthly increase.

Coming after a seven-month streak of negative same-store sales last year, the figures suggested consumers are revving up their high-street spending.

“They aren’t power shopping, but there is a soft increase in consumption that I think will continue in the coming months,” said Soren Lontoft Hansen, analyst at Sydbank.

The Swedish fast-fashion giant said calendar effects negatively impacted total sales by about 3 percentage units. H&M only releases percentage changes for monthly sales and does not break out actual sales figures.

Last month, the company reported total sales during the period of Jan. 1 to Jan. 26 were up 13 percent versus the same period last year. The final figure of 11 percent for January as a whole therefore surprised some analysts, though H&M did not explain why there was a drop-off. “I guess weather could have played a role here,” said Lontoft Hansen. “Another thing could be increasing discounts.”

The brand will unveil the second part of its collaboration with French designer Sonia Rykiel with a knitwear collection set to bow in stores worldwide on Saturday, following an initial lingerie line in December.

Sales figures for February will be published April 8 alongside the financial report for the first quarter. H&M’s financial year runs from Dec. 1 to Nov. 30. The store count at the world’s third-largest fashion chain stood at 1,987 doors on Jan. 31, compared with 1,741 stores at the same time last year.

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